Most helpful critical review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Could have been better
on May 20, 2012
I got this book hoping it would be something like "Sector 7" by David Wiesner, which I loved! Sadly, for me, neither the story nor the illustrations were quite as captivating.
The story is about a young boy who doesn't care at all about the environment (he litters, doesn't see the beauty of trees). He thinks it would be cool to live in the future and fly spacecrafts and have robots and stuff, but then he falls asleep and dreams about a very different future.
The future he dreams about illustrate a future where trees are being cut-down, smog is blocking the view of the Grand Canyon, and there's lots of traffic and people on cell phones (now, rather sadly, this sounds a lot like "the present" instead of the future to me...) but, some of the dream sequences are more "futuristic": a world with few fish left in the sea, no ponds for ducks to land in, etc. So, the question is, will the young dreamer see the world in a different light when he wakes up? Will he finally sort his recyclables and trash into separate bins?
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for cleaning up the environment! I love nature, I love clean air, and I think something needs to be done to start making the world healthier. But this book just struck me the wrong way from the get-go. It feels way too dogmatic and blatant. And what annoyed me was that it was so trivial in a way. The issues the world faces are big problems. So, to trivialize them by saying the trees are being cut down "for toothpicks" or that the smog is being created by a processing plant that produces medicine to help you fight the effects of smog, just seem to make the issues way to "easy."
And as far as the end, I'm not sure how I feel about the "solution" being, basically, to go back 60 years and live how we did in the 1950s. Are there things we could learn from the past? Definitely! But I suppose, personally, I'd rather envision a future where we learn from the past but keep progressing by making things better, rather than reverting to what we've already come from.
Some of the full page illustrations are pretty and pleasant to look at - and, of course, I love the addition of the cat! But overall this book fell flat for me...